The Story of Kalalou Caribbean Bar & Grill
There’s a fascinating story behind Kalalou Caribbean Bar & Grill. The Orlando, FL restaurant, featuring Haitian & Caribbean cuisine, is one of the few Caribbean restaurants offering drive-thru services for fresh “homemade” style meals. Founded by an immigrant Haitian American who’s first job was a dishwasher, Eli Verty migrated at 21 years old to Florida. Verty transitioned into a restaurant owner in 2018 with support from friends and partners.
Verty’s ‘aha’ moment came when he noticed most small ethnic Caribbean restaurants were only small take out places. For a nice sit down dinner, people had to go to mainstream, chain restaurants even though they preferred authentic Caribbean cuisine. That’s when Kalalou Bar and Grill was born in Central FL– patrons can not only enjoy take out and drive thru service, but the casual-dine in style restaurant offers something for any occasion. Kalalou is located less than a mile from Millenia mall on Conroy & John Young. There is also a second location launching after only 4 years, Kalalou Signature, offering a fine dining experience Fall 2022.
Blending a fusion of Caribbean cuisines, Kalalou offers Jamaican dishes like whole Snapper, and Jerk chicken, with a concentration of Haitian favorites such as Joumou Soup, Lalo Jute leaves stew, Goat, and Griot fried Pork. The restaurant features online ordering capability, delivery and also to the drive through capability, pivoting during COVID until today. The location also highlights happy hour, chef specials, live music and brunch on the weekend.
For the entire month of May, the restaurant is offering $18 specials for all prime meals and community’s favorite top sellers, two meals for $18, Chicken, Griot (Dine in or Drive Thru), $18 specials all month (regular $25-$35), Snapper, Goat, Oxtail, Steak skirt, (Dine in only) to celebrate and say thank you to the Haitian community.
Verty is passionate about several culinary and social topics like:
-His mission to provide a unique Caribbean dining experience to the community in a safe, and modern environment.
-Why Kalalou has become a household name in the Caribbean community in Central Florida, especially the Haitian community.
-How he transitioned from dishwasher to restaurant owner as a Haitian immigrant, while also launching his second location and how he is supporting the fellow Haitian community for Haitian Heritage month.
“We are so honored to play a role in every celebration from engagement, graduation, baptism, birthdays or family time to enjoy great authentic Caribbean food in a fun ambiance with great services. As a special thank you to the community, all favorite meals that are normally $25-$30 such as whole Snapper, Goat, Oxtail, are now only $18 for the full month in honor of May 18th, Haitian flag day,” Verty said.
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